E Street

Originally named "Salt Lake" by the Mormons, who had the town surveyed and laid out by the same man who surveyed Salt Lake, "E" Street has always been a main North-South artery in San Bernardino. It was on E Street, midway between 5th and 6th, that the center stake for the town was planted by Brothers Lyman & Rich, assisted by Mr. Hess, the surveyor.

The Mormons laid out their blocks 600 feet square, with the streets 67 ½ feet wide - broad avenues, for 1852! They numbered the East-West streets, and name the North-South ones, from Sierra Way to I Street, as follows: Kirkland, Camel, Crafton, Utah, Salt Lake, California, Independence, Nauvoo and Far West. Later the North-South streets were lettered, from A to I, and still later, some of the streets renamed again, like Sierra Way, Mountain View, and Arrowhead Avenue.1

It is interesting to note that few streets at present commemorate the Mormon period. One would expect to find a "Mormon", or at least a "Lyman" or a "Rich" street. However, this condition is probably due to the fact that in 1857, Brigham Young recalled the Saints from San Bernardino, and the faithful left en masse.

Pictured below are the leaders of the Mormon Colony, Amasa M. Lyman and Charles C. Rich. According to Beattie, Young was never enthusiastic over the San Bernardino colony, and the Church did not back the enterprises financially. This accounts for the fact that the deed to the San Bernardino Rancho was made to Lyman and Rich as individuals. "They were the underwriters of the enterprise, and upon them rested the heavy responsibilities connected with it."2

Image of Amasa M. Lyman
Amasa M. Lyman
Image of Charles C. Rich
Charles C. Rich

The residents of Los Angeles were very interested in the Mormon Colony for a number of reasons. First, from them they could expect stability and protection against Indian raiders. Secondly, they needed flour and lumber from them.

On September 22, 1851, Lyman, Rich, and other leaders concluded an agreement with the Lugos and Sepulveda for purchase of the Rancho for $77,500. They paid $7,000 to bind the bargain, raised cash and pledges among the brethren, and Lyman went to San Francisco where he borrowed $52,000 to pay off the balance in two years, at 2½% per month - 30% per year.3

  • Buie, Earl, San Bernardino Sun-Telegram column, January 26, 1966.
  • Beattie, op. cit., p.182.
  • Ibod., p. 191.

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